It's a popular dieting tip; drink more water and you'll shed more pounds. But does it work? Studies have supported the idea, showing that overweight dieters who drink two cups of water half an hour before each meal eat 75 fewer daily calories and lose 5 pounds more than those who don't increase their water intake. Water drinkers are also more likely to keep the weight off long term.
Staying hydrated is essential for everyone, but those who exercise regularly have an even greater need to keep drinking. Research has shown that losing as little as 2% of your body weight through sweating creates a drop in blood volume, causing the heart to work harder to circulate blood. A drop in blood volume can also lead to muscle cramps, dizziness, fatigue and heat stroke, making adequate water intake essential for comfort, performance and safety when exercising.
Water is no magic potion; it is believed to help people shed pounds simply because it contains no calories and fills up the stomach, making you feel less hungry and less inclined to overeat. Drinking more water also stops people from reaching for high-calorie, sugar-filled beverages; and the fewer calories you get from drinks, the healthier (and slimmer) you'll be.